I s'pose I must concede that historical "romance" readers are a special breed as, in my never humble opinion are "romance" writers. I no longer read pulp fiction in any genre.
I find it regretable that so many publishers and readers lump historical fiction and "romance" in the same catagory.
"No matter how contemporary you think your novel is, it's all historical fiction by the time it hits amazon.com."
--- On Thu, 4/30/09, Susan Hicks <Susan.Hicks1@...> wrote:
From: Susan Hicks <Susan.Hicks1@...>
Subject: Re: Historical Novel Society All washed up
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009, 6:12 PM
This image of American readers amazed me as an American reader. All I can
think of to say is that you must be referring to a generation of readers
with whom I am unfamiliar.
That's not to tar everyone with the same brush and attitudes do vary. I
don't take things on hearsay and I do take them with a large pinch of salt,
but I did actually see the 'Eeeeuwww I couldn't read about someone who
didn't brush their teeth" discussion on Amazon.com for myself on a
historical romance reader discussion forum and was rather astonished. I
quite often drop by the historical fiction and the historical romance forums
over ther for a looksee.
Then, I was discussing how until recently I hadn't been able to find a USA
publishers for my novels with one of the stellar names of USA historical
romance. She wasn't au fait with the nitty gritty of my work but knew I
wrote medievals and thought that it was romance as such. She told me that
Medieval romance was a hard sell in the USA because of the 'dirt and smelly
mud-hovel' perception. It could be done, but it wasn't easy and it wasn't
flavour of the month. So having seen it with my own eyes and heard it from
a writer well positioned to be in the know, I have to accept that it may
well be the case.
As it is, I now have a USA publisher for The Greatest Knight and my editor
tells me that advance orders from the booksellers are looking very healthy
indeed - but while it might cross over to some romance readers it's more of
a mainstream historical read rather than category - so the dirt obviously
isn't quite so much of an issue. :-). I find attitudes fascinating!
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